TORONTO -- The 1993 Blue Jays have moved on from the first round of MLB's Dream Bracket 2 with a win over the '95 Indians in a seven-game series that nearly slipped away from them.
With the 1985 Blue Jays falling to the '31 Homestead Grays in the first round, the ’93 World Series champions will carry Toronto’s hopes into the second round against the 2019 Houston Astros, who made easy work of the '91 Twins with a four-game sweep. The Blue Jays’ big bats carried them through Round 1 with Joe Carter, Roberto Alomar and Paul Molitor all putting up big numbers at the plate.
The simulated competition, featuring many of the greatest teams in baseball history, is being produced by Out of the Park Baseball 21, MLB's most realistic strategy game (PC and Mac).
Here’s how the back-and-forth series played out:
Game 1: Blue Jays 8, Indians 2
Hall of Famer Alomar carried the Blue Jays out of the gate, going 3-for-4 with a double, triple and home run, leaving just a single standing between him and the cycle. Molitor launched a three-run shot while Juan Guzman allowed two runs over six strong innings. Coming out of the bullpen, Jack Morris pitched three scoreless innings with three strikeouts to close the door.
Game 2: Blue Jays 7, Indians 3
The Blue Jays opened up a 2-0 series lead with another strong offensive performance, including a two-run shot from John Olerud in the ninth. Olerud, Molitor and Ed Sprague all contributed two hits apiece, while Alomar reached base three times. Starter Pat Hentgen held the Indians to just two runs over 6 2/3 innings while striking out six.
Game 3: Indians 4, Blue Jays 1
Toronto’s lineup managed just five hits in this game, with Joe Carter going 2-for-3 with a walk to lead the way. Dave Stewart was excellent, allowing a lone run over his 6 1/3 innings, but Cleveland got to reliever Mark Eichhorn for three runs later in the game.
Game 4: Blue Jays 8, Indians 5
This Game 4 win was all about the Blue Jays' bullpen, which picked up the pieces after a short outing from Todd Stottlemyre. Mike Timlin, Morris, Eichhorn and Duane Ward combined to pitch 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball, with Ward picking up his first save of the series. The game was tied at 5 entering the bottom of the eighth, but Tony Fernandez tripled home a pair of runs and scored on a sacrifice fly to put the Blue Jays ahead.
Game 5: Indians 7, Blue Jays 4
The Blue Jays outhit the Indians, 13-11, but couldn’t do much with it. Guzman had an uncharacteristically poor outing, allowing five runs on seven hits over just two innings. At the plate, Carter launched his first home run of the series and Molitor went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.
Game 6: Indians 7, Blue Jays 6
Cleveland kept the series alive yet again despite another 13-hit effort from the Blue Jays’ lineup. Hentgen did enough on the mound, pitching 5 1/3 innings of three-run ball, but his four walks hurt him. Alomar moved his average to .381 with another two-hit performance and stole his third base of the series.
Game 7: Blue Jays 6, Indians 3
The third time was the charm. Carter, who’s no stranger to big moments, launched two home runs in this game, while Devon White went 2-for-5 with a solo shot of his own. Making his second start of the series, Stewart allowed three runs over 4 2/3 innings, but a strong bullpen effort from Tony Castillo, Al Leiter, Eichhorn and Ward secured the series win.